Holmium - The World 67 Blog


Well worth the wait and read, keep it up!

Hopefully i might get a mention soon :)


Well done again Brian... enjoyed the read. Have always known you to be an intelligent and articulate person and player, but never seen this side of you.

Hope you'll continue to write these up!


It takes a lot of work to produce and collate all the material, needed to make one of these great blogs. Then Fruitfilledevil, has his own account and real life to deal with, In any case im sure that he is doing the finishing touches as we speak.


Sweet! Was getting worried that it had slipped under the radar


So... Any update? :O

Yes, sure. I've postponed until Sunday or Monday. I haven't found a good 5-6 hour block of free time to write everything. I learned from last time that if I write one article a day that by the time I'm done the first one is out of date already. So in trying to write a good up to date blog I want to hammer it out at one go and publish it immediately. I haven't forgotten, and I won't quit on this. It just takes time to do it the way I want to do it.


Guys, dont you know quality takes time?

Lets not try to rush him up. Fruit, take all the time you need ;)



Hello readers! Holmium Issue 3 is a long, long time overdue but I'm sure you were all way too busy nobling each other to notice. This issue we visit my pal Garrock, start a debate about who the top defender is, and I dream up a few new units for the game. Enjoy!


Deciding who the best defender in the world is NOT easy! One method I like to use is to divide the number of villages a person has lost into the amount of ODD they have. That gives you a way to compare different players to see how many nukes they're killing for each village they've lost. What this doesn't take into consideration is that someone could have virtually zero ODD and have sniped a hundred incoming trains. Clearly that person would be a great defender indeed! ODD per lost village is more of a recognition of who is better at tagging and stacking. Since we can't tell from twstats who has had the most incoming or sniped the most trains this will just have to do for now. If you believe someone on w67 is a great defender but not on this graph please post about them! I'd love a discussion about the great snipers and recappers that w67 has.

Right, so in this graph are people in the Top 20 for ODD that still actively play. I left out accounts that have clearly tanked. The (number) in parenthesis after their names are their ODD ranking.


From the above I'm going to give nods to Satirically Correct, Doctor Lolwut, and Mike2323 for being great defenders (at least great stackers!). olly and diehard clearly are doing well also, so many nukes killed in their villages and they're still here playing - :) Kudos to all on the graph.


At the request of some readers after the last issue, I've decided to interview my good pal Garrock. To those that don't know, Garrock plays the Dark Conquest account and is the duke of MM (my tribe). In the past he's gone by the names Foggybrain, Kungfu Squarrel, and garrock in game. I've coplayed with this guy twice and been in 3 or 4 of his different tribes. I cannot stress enough how much Garrock is an asset to the tribal wars community. You can debate his skill or his manner if you like, but he's definitely one of those players that this game needs more of.

Fruity: Hi Garrock!
Fruity: You've been around tribal wars a long time, can you give me a brief rundown of the accounts you've played/tribes led?

Garrock: Gosh... I began a little late on w6 as Garrock, and then joined 12 at launch. Playing both of those simultaneously. I didn't get rimmed in either, though close enough that the distinction is irrelevant. I realized in those worlds I was making alot of errors, and learned through the school of hard knocks. When 13 launched I deleted on 6 and 12 and began playing on 13.
Garrock: It was w13 I learned of the externals :$ and began following world politics and what not. It was here I also joined Flux which was led by Openeye. From this experience I learned the Openeye HC strategy, but more important, some extremely useful strategies inherent to any good player. So when w14 began I felt it was time to move along on my own, a fresh start using the experiences I had gained from 13 and previous world.
Garrock: 14 I created Uruz, a small tribe with select recruitment, built off of teamwork first. Something I've carried with me since. I quit TW at this point and didn't make an appearance again until w35 where I played as Foggybrain and helped lead G.Khan to early success. Joined 37, created a small premade (my first) called Rabid Squarrels, though it had early promise I was forced to quit TW for the second time. Fast forward to w43, w44... came back to build Uruz Reborn for w47, but while re-acquainting myself with old friends for the premade I joined w44 under HandOfGod to coplay Arrow and offer him some tutelage. Here on 44 br0ken was born, and after a short period the dukes dumped leadership on me. Br0ken had tremendous success early, but for me was always a side project and when 47 opened I quit 44 to focus on what was always my goal when returning to TW.
Garrock: Uruz Reborn on w47 was co-led by myself & Jay (raven24). Uruz from w14 my tribe, and Reborn w14 his tribe. Our cast was made up of mostly unknowns who I personally knew to be great players, and for awhile we exemplified that. Unfortunately I shipped out to Afghanistan and was forced to give up TW for a 3rd time.
Garrock: I came back after 18 months in afghanistan and formed Rabid on w62. Good tribe, but failed mostly due to my poor leadership. I had abandoned many of the principles that had led to my earlier successes, as well as having some demoralizing coplayer issues which led me to quit quite hastily. I take full responsibility for Rabids fall. I recruited the wrong types of players, good players but selfish, and I tried to expand far to rapidly before securing a strong foundation.
Garrock: And now I play w67 and lead MM (whew)
Garrock: is that too much? Felt like I was writing a book
Garrock: 7 years is a long time to summarize

Fruity: I dunno, maybe it's therapeutic in some way to write it all down.
Fruity: You know, to understand the nature of your addiction :D

Garrock: I do understand that. I came to that realization in w14. It's the people

Fruity: Of all your tribes and experiences how does MM rate so far? Is it your crowning achievement or just one among many?

Garrock: Uruz and the people there will always hold a special place in my heart, and I mean this because they transcended the game. In those days, more players were new than there were experienced. None of us had much leadership experience in TW, and we built from scratch. Cracked top 15 with 14 members, top 5 with 19 etc... and we did that as a team.
Garrock: Every tribe I've led since, except Rabid on 62, has been not modeled after Uruz on paper, but ideologically
Garrock: I realize no two tribes can ever be the same. I will say that MM is not greater than any of those, nor worse. What I hope for with MM is to play this until the end. Something I've been denied in all other worlds, whether due to real life events, or personal choice.
Garrock: MM is a great group of people willing to sacrifice for their tribemates, and that is what makes MM a great tribe! That's what makes any tribe great

Fruity: Have you made any errors so far that you wish you could go back and change? (speaking about MM, not other worlds)

Garrock: I am sure I've made a few, but for specifics, it's hard for me to pin it down. WE, not just me, have done a great job of creating a great team, and that's what I promote. I try not to micromanage except when it comes to war efforts.

Fruity: I have to agree, MM is a great tribe with good people but what I like the most is that there's a lot of freedom to decide your own fate

Garrock: yes. This is a game. I think all of our leaders in this tribe have promoted an atmosphere that encourages people to work together, and to take pride in "our" accomplishments, not the individual accomplishments, and frankly, I do believe we have so many individual awards because of that mentality.

Fruity: You and I have played together on and off since w35 and I've known you to always look for new strategies for running a tribe and for playing an account. Do you think there are still new strategies out there to be discovered? Is Tribal Wars now a rinse and repeat affair that doesn't offer much variety or do you feel there's a lot yet to discover?

Garrock: I believe that most everything has been done, but each world is unique, requiring adaptability. I believe in something, I believe in smaller tribes it's more natural to develop camraderie, and dependence upon one another. I believe that each accomplishment both tribal and individual is magnified when accomplished by smaller tribes. I am old school, I could never lead a mass recruit tribe, or a family tribe. I have no desire. MM is a perfect example, many of our players have been considered marginal, but put them in a tribe of smaller numbers, with room to grow, not hampered by too much diplomacy, or too many tribemates, and look at them flourish. It's astonishing to see them working together on their own little projects, it's amazing how few problems we have, or the lack of ego.
Garrock: Yes, my personal game is always evolving as well as leadership, but my general approach has always remained the same

Fruity: Would you like to see Innogames add a lot more change to the game? New mechanics? New units? On world 69 which I am aware that you play, it is a packet world but the "cheap noble rebuild" option is disabled - a first for .NET I believe. That adds a huge new depth to defense and an air of excitement to every noble you send out. I guess this isn't a very good question but do you have any comment regarding either changes to mechanics or the "new" setting for packets on 69?

Garrock: I am no fan whatsoever on the "buy bonus" features in any world. It creates disparity, and an uneven playing field. The limited and No-hauls I can really appreciate. It limits the advantage that activity in itself provides. Yes, it's still an advantage to log-in all the time, but it provides opportunity for us old soldiers to play solo if we want, or allows us to compete yet still lead a normal active lifestyle outside of the digital world.
Garrock: w69 is my first experience with this limited hauls, and it has forced a number of strategic changes in my play style, as well as early leadership style.

Fruity: Let's get back to MM and world 67 a bit. We're regarded as one of the best if not the best tribe in the world, yet we get a lot of grief for not having fought any major wars. I know we've started wars but so far every tribe we've attacked has disintegrated before our first op even lands. The latest example being GE which essentially mass deleted shortly after our first wave of fakes was sent. We certainly have enough villages to noble in some of our fronts for the next few months. Will that be enough for now or would you like to push the envelope a bit and see what we're capable of?

Garrock: Interesting question. This is tribal wars, separate and define each word, then put them in conjunction and what do you get? I do not believe in declaring war on every tribe, it's a mental thing really, it projects strength, like they are not even worthy of a war. It's demoralizing to them, as well as builds confidence in our members. We have been warring since inception, but we have been selective in who we eat, and often we are doing it in OPs, or at least mini-ops among members. If everyone had been just nobling random victims then we would most assuredly have been gangbanged at this point. You can't tell me that there were only 20 something decent players in our entire 1/4 of the world. There were plenty, but they all joined the standard random tribe with leadership incapable of thinking beyond themselves, or thinking beyond today.
Garrock: MM is rank 1 ODA, and that's a greater indicator of battles than war stats in my opinion. We're fighters, have no doubt about that.

Fruity: I like our approach to PnP and war declarations - which is essentially none. That has always been my favorite approach to PnP - silence. PnP is fun but there's something about being that silent death that I like. Do you have any plans to change that?

Garrock: I think a good PnP is magnified by it's rarity. When MM is ready to say something that we believe will impact and change the world on a large scale, then perhaps we'll make a PnP post. I believe the externals are a great tool and we are using the externals quite effectively by not saying anything about ourselves. Very little of substance is ever said on the externals, mostly random flaming. At times I believe 90% of tw players must be 5 years old. I believe our members are representatives of our tribe. Immature posting, or random flaming is a reflection of our tribe and draws unwanted attention. Not to mention more often than not makes the individual look foolish.
Garrock: So that's a "NO" I guess :D.

Fruity: I love it!
Fruity: I know you're an avid bowler - any other hobbies?

Garrock: seems I'm so busy with work I don't have time for much. I used to play basketball & softball actively until my knees started to go. Bowling merely replaced that. I'm a very competitive person, I enjoy competition, and I enjoy the camraderie of teamwork.
Garrock: I like to go fishing a few times a year, golf a few times a year... and I travel a bit, an addiction I developed while in Afghanistan

Fruity: Any other computer/video games? I remember you telling me about a game you were looking forward to

Garrock: I messed around with some video games when I was younger. Honestly I never played video games or even D&D until after adulthood and the military.
Garrock: a brother-in-law who lived next door got me into D&D a bit.. then after I got a computer he got me to play Ultima Online, things like that.
Garrock: then in early 2000's Dark Age of Camelot was released
Garrock: I loved the Realm vs. Realm aspect of it's PvP. Group based PvP, castle seiges, massive land battles... it was great
Garrock: Each player in a group playing it's part... healers, casters, melee fighters etc... the mechanics designed to require skill
Garrock: It wasn't until some expansions that really derailed the game that I quit DAoC and began TW
Garrock: always looking for that next game that had the same type of RvR that DAoC had.
Garrock: Currently I'm a contributor to one in development called Camelot Unchained

Fruity: Contributing in what way?
Fruity: monetarily?
Fruity: or are you contributing to the story/design?

Garrock: yes.. Kickstarter donation which comes with some perks... like free subscription forever (1 dollar anyway), access to game design and development, a chance to offer suggestions and help build the game itself

Fruity: I'll have to check it out

Garrock: alpha access, beta access

Fruity: Any advice you'd give to your fellow tribal wars players?

Garrock: play with humility, respect, and ethics. Nothing worse than backdooring people, or running your mouth on the externals. I may not be a famous player, but I have the respect of the players whose respect I most want, and they have mine. I've been fortunate to be a part of tribes that are mentioned by old timers as one of the greats, and the members of those tribes, like you Brian, are what makes Tribal wars a great game. I think I get as much from this game as anyone, and it's these acquaintances, and friendships that make it that way.

Fruity: I definitely agree.
Fruity: I thank you for your time, I know it's taken us ages to both be online at the same time. Sorry about that. Do you have any last words?

Garrock: Your welcome, and it's my pleasure to do this. I understand, you and I both work an uncommon amount of time.
Garrock: Last words... well this interview, and MM. It has been a team effort from the start. I've been fortunate to have great team mates, and great people to co-lead. This interview is because of them. I sometimes get the attention, but it's everyone's efforts that put us where we are, and whatever we do from here is the same.
Garrock: Thanks brother! Great talk!


Sorry to all the veteran players out there - this help desk is probably going to be boring to you. I wanted to address some of the smaller players who have the potential to see end game - IF they can get their act together and avoid becoming rim chow. The players I have in mind are ranging from 200,000 to 600,000 points. Big enough to stick around and enter the top ranks but small enough that they're at risk of falling behind. Noobs I guess, but noobs that have potential to be great.

5 Mistakes to Avoid as a New(ish) Player

1. Thinking that by staying out of a war that the enemy will respect or recruit you.
This is wrong. Get involved. No matter what another tribe might tell you, they aren't very likely going to recruit someone who sat out the war. Any tribe that's worth a damn is looking to recruit the best fighters, not the best idlers. Send fakes, send catapults, send nukes. Noble something from the enemy. Try. Your tribe needs you.

2. Believing that a full defensive village is a "Stack". Once you get to where you have 20+ nukes all the time, spending 2 or 3 to clear out an enemy village is perfectly normal and works to your advantage over time. Personally, I love it when an enemy leaves full defense villages lying around for me to clear out. Kill them off before they make a stack. By the same token, do not believe that because you have 6k Spears, 3k archers, and 1.5k HC sitting in your village that you are safe from the next couple attacks. Dodge those out or make a stack with some other defensive villages in a village the enemy is likely to noble! Don't leave them lying around or they will be quickly killed off and you will have no way to save your account.

3. Microfarming when it no longer makes sense. At some point most good players will quit "microfarming" and start trying to haul as much as they can out of barbarians at one go. Microfarming refers to sending small groups (anywhere between 2 and 10) to thousands of barbarian villages. The common methods for it these days are using the A or B Farm Assistant Options or a farming script. This strategy is great at startup but once you're past 100,000 points and your barbs are well above 1,000 points you definitely need a new approach. With farm assistant you can use the "C" option which requires you to send scouts with your farming parties but will send larger amounts that will clear the whole warehouse at once. There are other approaches aside from using Farm Assistant. You can ask me for help via in game mail or you can research it on your own. Sending out 3,000+ farming runs per day is um, good sort of, but you're going to burn out and dread logging in. Or you'll just quit farming.

4. Becoming tribelocked. I definitely appreciate players wanting to have a "cluster" but when your cluster becomes surrounded by tribemates you will become bored and have a lack of targets. You should regularly be checking to see if you are in danger of becoming tribelocked. If you are, you should begin looking for new areas to grow in. Your tribe and duke can help with scouting targets, prenobling, etc.

5. Failing to learn. This is the most obvious of course. There are plenty of players out there who are too arrogant, stupid, or lazy to ask questions. The minute their incoming total goes above 50 they're ready to quit. Or what about when the enemy players near you become bigger and bigger and you have no idea how to attack? These are things you should be learning now, not later! If your duke cannot help you with learning about things like "Cavalry Defense/General Defense", "Sniping", "Tagging", and the like then you need to find a new tribe. If you've played for a few months and have 20-30 villages, you should know by now what some of these terms are and you should be asking a lot of questions. If there isn't anyone around that can help you learn you need to find a new team to work with. Asking questions in the external forums is an easy way to get an answer but very few people do it.

I'm going to use this blog to post some units/mechanics/buildings/etc that I think would be fun to implement. I'm not so sure they'd be "good" for the game, I just like to think about these things sometimes and writing them down seemed like a good idea to me? All my fantasy units this issue come from the statue much like the paladin.




Pack llamas. 'nuff said.


You have read everything, you've seen the llamas. Now go forth and fight each other. Thank you Garrock for your time - it's always a delight to pick your brain. Will the next issue of Holmium take waaaay to long to be posted? Who knows! Will it feature an absolute juggernaut of epic proportions as it's fantasy unit? Yes! Thanks for reading :)



Just this once, I'll overlook the missing 'i' in my name on the graph (Satirically). :icon_wink:

Another good read though, keep 'em coming.
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Just this once, I'll overlook the missing 'i' in my name on the graph (Satirically). :icon_wink:

Another good read though, keep 'em coming.

Please allow me to satirically appologyse.

Very entertaining read Fruitypants. I'm surprised Garrock actually found time to do that interview, with him busy playing the you know what game. (MM knows, can't mention it here)

I caught him while he was having tea and biscuits.